Friday, November 25, 2016

Two Dogs and a Little Baby: Bringing Home a New Baby

The biggest question we've been getting lately, is how the pups are doing with the (not so new anymore) baby.
We also weren't sure what to expect when we added Baby K to the mix.
Now that Baby K is a whopping 9+ months old, we've seen a couple of stages of interactions.
This is what it was like in the early days.

On Bringing Baby Home:
Even before doing introductions between the pups and Baby K, our trainer told us it was important to set the tone and think about how we would greet the dogs after having spent all that time in the hospital. I would probably smell strange to them, and it could be simultaneously confusing and exciting to have us show up again after leaving so suddenly.
We decided I would come in first, and I would have a high value treat. E would follow with the baby.
As it turns out, the pups weren't concerned that we'd been gone so long or smelled different. They just saw the treat and took off. I guess it was that high value! (We chose pig ears).
It wasn't until later that night that they even realized we had someone new in the house.

Early Introductions:
I pups didn't realize anything new was in the house until the middle of the night.
Like the 3:00am middle of the night where all normal people (and dogs!) are sleeping, but it's Baby prime hour.
For crying.
And not communicating why they are crying.
I was with Baby K in his room when I heard footsteps. I figured it was E, but instead it was Miss M (oddly walking human-like) peeking around the corner and and staring wide-eyed at us.
I could just imagine her saying "Excuse me. My name is Miss M. I am the Mayor of this house. You may be new here, but this is a quiet house. And you are not being quiet."
The first few nights Miss M would come in like this and stare scoldingly.
Which evolved to her literally following my every move. She would sit next to me when I was feeding Baby K at night. She would follow me to the bathroom and wait outside. I felt really bad when I had to run downstairs to get something because she would follow me up and down.

Meeting the Pups:
This was the first time Baby K saw Miss M's gargoyle face.
Just kidding! This was the first time Baby K farted. (Not kidding!)

Being Creature-Like:

I think all dogs don't know what to think of new babies. Between the way they cry and their weird movements.
They must think they are creatures.
Even we think Baby K is like a creature.
The first time Baby K was on his stomach doing tummy-time Miss M tried to poke him in the rear because she still couldn't figure out what he was.
Mr B spent a lot of time retreating backwards because he couldn't figure out what Baby K was.
Since the pups were so perplexed, we were always very aware of holding him up higher and making him seem human-like.
We also very closely monitored any interactions if Baby K was practicing his tummy time on the blanket, and taught the pups to stay off his blanket.

We know all babies and dogs are different. What are some other experiences people had when bringing home baby?

Being Pregnant with Pooches.


Dz Dog Mom said...

Awwwww... baby K was so cute and tiny!!
Sounds like you did great setting the rules for baby K with the pups!

Unknown said...

Did you find any specific blogs or books helpful? I can't really afford a trainer so I'm relying on other sources of information.

Two Pitties in the City said...

Hi Leah: The main thing I found out is that all dogs and babies are different. So while I had read some things before, many things ended up not applying to us at all. If you're in Chicago, we did a $100 appraisal with Anything is Pawsible. It was really good because she went through a whole list of items (that I had never even thought of before) to see if these are things that are dogs do, as well as our personal philosophy (is it ok for the dogs to lick the baby? Do the dogs need to be contained from certain parts of the yard? etc). She gave us some advice and resources on specific things we were concerned about, and we could always follow up with more training on specific items (but we were not obligated to). I know a lot of hospitals are now offering it as part of their getting ready for baby classes. Love and a Leash also had some good posts, here:

Good luck with your new baby!

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